Wee Jack Baines is tired of living in his brother's shadow. Unlike his brother Robert, Jack is no good at sports or rabbit-shooting, and is not popular at school. Luckily for him, though, his Uncle Onslow notices that, as well as being short, Jack has a gift with horses: perfect for a jockey! And so he arranges an apprenticeship for Jack with a trainer in Napier. Determined to prove to his family that he can be as good as Robert, Jack sets out with high hopes and dreams of success - so at last he can be called just Jack. Instead he finds a harsh and unforgiving boss, back-breaking drudgery, and a vindictive stable-mate who sees him as a rival. His spirit is shattered when he realizes that the boss sees him as nothing more than a cheap stable-hand, and he despairs of ever becoming a winning jockey. But as the long, hot summer drags on, powerful forces are at work that will change his life forever. Will he have the courage - and the luck - to survive?
Finalist in the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2012
Adele Broadbent lives and works in Hawke's Bay. This is her second novel, following Too Many Secrets, and was inspired by the experiences of her grandfather as a young apprentice jockey in the 1930s.